Gov. Scott: Florida Calls on CDC to Activate Emergency Response Team Following Confirmed Mosquito-Borne Transmissions

UPDATE – Aug. 9, 2016Palm Beach County has its first suspected local case of Zika bringing the number of patients with locally acquired Zika to 17 in Florida, with 15 of those in Miami-Dade County. 

An unidentified person who may have visited Miami is believed to have contracted Palm Beach County’s first locally acquired case of Zika. Florida Department of Health officials have begun taking samples and questioning neighbors of the Palm Beach County resident with the virus. However, Gov. Rick Scott and other officials believe mosquitoes that carry the virus are still confined to the one-square-mile area that includes Maimi’s Wynwood, Edgewater and Midtown neighborhoods, reports the Palm Beach Post.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Aug. 1, 2016, Governor Rick Scott announced that the Florida Department of Health (DOH) has identified 10 additional people in Florida with the Zika virus who likely contracted it through a mosquito bite. This brings the total number of people with locally transmitted Zika to 14. DOH believes that active transmissions of the Zika virus are still only occurring in the one small area in Miami-Dade County, just north of downtown, that was announced on Friday. This remains the only area of the state where DOH has confirmed there are ongoing local transmissions of Zika. Among the 10 new individuals announced today, six are asymptomatic and were identified from the door-to-door community survey that DOH is conducting.

Following today’s announcement, Governor Scott has called upon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to activate a CDC Emergency Response Team (CERT) to assist the Florida Department of Health and other partners in their investigation, sample collection, and mosquito control efforts.

Governor Scott said, “Today, DOH has confirmed that 10 additional people have contracted the Zika virus locally, likely through a mosquito bite. DOH has been testing individuals in three locations in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties for possible local transmissions through mosquito bites. Based on DOH’s investigations, two locations have been ruled out for possible local transmissions of the Zika virus. DOH believes local transmissions are still only occurring in the same square mile area of Miami.

“Following today’s announcement, I have requested that the CDC activate their Emergency Response Team to assist DOH in their investigation, research and sample collection efforts. Their team will consist of public health experts whose role is to augment our response efforts to confirmed local transmissions of the Zika virus.”

On Friday, July 29th, the CDC Newsroom released a press release stating, “[The] CDC is closely coordinating with Florida officials who are leading the ongoing investigations, and at the state’s request, sent a CDC medical epidemiologist to provide additional assistance.”

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